Best Online HR Degree Programs

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 23, 2020

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Human resources is a broad field, which equates to endless opportunities for you. An online HR degree under your belt means you can earn a comfortable salary as you keep tabs on everyone in an organization. 

An online HR degree allows you to meet your educational and career goals without completely altering your life. Programs offered through many reputable colleges and universities can lend the support you need to reach the finish line.

Benzinga’s stepping in to help you choose an online HR degree that’s a good fit.

Why Choose an Online HR Degree?

Beyond flexibility, an online HR degree is an excellent option for nontraditional students for many reasons. You can also prepare for a graduate degree program or a rewarding role in the field. 

Don’t have any HR experience? An online degree program will show you the ropes. Take on a role that requires you to recruit and hire talent, oversee training and handle compensation and benefits. You will also be well-versed in labor laws and effective methods for conflict resolution. HR professionals can also apply communication strategies acquired in the online HR degree program to every aspect of your life. 

An online HR degree can also prepare you for a higher-level position that requires you to collaborate with management to overcome organizational challenges. Or you could play an instrumental role in developing policies and procedures that are implemented company-wide. 

You will also have the flexibility to pursue a variety of roles after graduating:

  • Human resources consultant, specialist or manager
  • International human resources professionals
  • Labor relations manager
  • Training and development manager
  • Executive recruiter
  • Payroll manager
  • Risk manager 

There’s a demand for HR professionals in several industries so you shouldn’t have trouble securing a role that pays well. 

How to Choose an Online HR Degree Program

It can be overwhelming to choose an online HR degree. As you evaluate your options, consider programs that meet the following criteria. 

Courses are Led by Experienced HR Professionals

It’s not enough to be a human resources subject-matter expert. Challenges often arise that require the implementation of your knowledge. The textbook way of resolving issues isn’t always practical. However, a knowledgeable faculty member can share nuggets of wisdom to help you think outside the box.  

Offer Certification Exam Prep

If you want to become a certified human resources professional, you want an online HR degree program with courses that offer foundational knowledge. Confirm that classes meet the educational requirements to sit for the Professional in Human Resource certification exam. 


An online HR degree is a wise investment of your time and money. Before you select a program, compare the tuition and fees for your top picks. Eliminate options from your list with steep rates so you don’t overspend on a degree that will yield the same results as a comparable option that’s far cheaper. Also, review the average cost of attendance for the past 5 years and avoid institutions that implement drastic price hikes each year. 

Jobs Waiting for You with an HR Degree

Here are some of the top careers waiting on HR degree holders: 

Human Resources Manager 

As a human resource manager, you’ll oversee the administrative functions of an organization. These include recruiting, interviewing and hiring new staff. You will also coordinate with management during the strategic planning process. 

Other core responsibilities include advising leadership on human resources issues and managing employee benefits. You may be tasked with mediating disputes, handling disciplinary issues and identifying ways to leverage employee talent. 

On average, human resources managers earn $113,300 per year. This equates to $54.47 per hour

Human Resources Specialist 

Not quite ready for a management role? You can still enjoy a meaningful career as a human resource specialist. Instead of overseeing critical operations, you’ll be directly involved in the screening, recruiting, interviewing and hiring process. 

In 2018, the median pay for human resource specialists was $66,220 annually. 

Compensation and Benefits Manager 

If you enjoy the numbers side of human resources, this role may be a good fit. It focuses solely on the compensation and benefits side of human resources. You will work to ensure that wages are dispersed on time and evaluate requests for pay increases. Compensation and benefits managers also serve as a key liaison between employees and management and they address questions and concerns relating to benefits. 

On average, compensation and benefits managers earn $130,010 per year. 

Best Online Colleges for an HR Degree

We’ve scoured the web to find the best online colleges for an HR degree. Here are our top picks and a review for each program so you can find the perfect fit and enroll with confidence. 

1. Temple University 


Temple University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management. This program equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to support employees in your organization.

The curriculum delves into compensation and benefits, labor relations, performance appraisals, recruitment and retention, training and development. You’ll sharpen your communication, interpersonal and presentation skills to work more effectively as a human resources professional. 

You need 124 credit hours to graduate, and will complete the following core courses: 

  • Compensation Management 
  • Human Resource Management and Public Policy 
  • Introduction to Human Resource Management 
  • Organizational Staffing and Career Management 

Two elective courses are also required. Choose from the following options: 

  • Communicating in Organizations
  • HR Metrics: Using Data, Scorecards and Dashboards to Drive Business Performance
  • HR on the Ground or Co-op Experience in Human Resource Management 
  • International Human Resource Management 
  • Labor Relations: Strategy and Practice 
  • Leadership in the 21st Century 
  • Leading People at Work 
  • Power, Influence and Negotiation
  • Special Topics – Human Resource Management 
  • Sustainable Organizational Leadership

Graduates of this program also have the foundational knowledge to pass the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) exam and earn a certified professional designation. 

Enroll now

2. Bellevue University 


Seeking a career as a human resource specialist or manager? The online Bachelor of Science in management of human resources from Bellevue University may be a good fit. 

The coursework equips you to work in many industries with companies of all sizes. Core classes include: 

  • American Vision and Values (Kirkpatrick Signature Series) 
  • Benefits Administration 
  • Business Operations and HR Strategy 
  • Compensation Administration 
  • Employee and Labor Relations 
  • Foundation of Business Communication 
  • Foundations for Professional Success
  • Freedom and Responsibility (Kirkpatrick Signature Series) 
  • Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 
  • Recruitment, Selection and Placement of Human Resources
  • Tradition and Change (Kirkpatrick Signature Series) 
  • Training and Development of Human Resources 
  • Human Resource Management Capstone Project 

You’ll acquire advanced knowledge of compensation and benefits, employment law and equal employment opportunity (EEO) compliance, human resource planning, labor-management relations and training and development. Coursework also prepares you for the Professional in Human Resource (PHR) certification exam. 

Enroll now

3. Florida International University 


The online Bachelor of Business Administration in human resource management degree provides an overview of organizational management and positions you for several valuable opportunities. You’ll learn the fundamentals of employee-matching, compensation and benefits, collective bargaining, employment law, human resource management information systems and training and development. 

Human resource management majors complete a series of foundational business courses. These core courses are also required: 

  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Human Resource Information Systems 
  • Human Resource Management 
  • Recruitment and Staffing 
  • Training and Development 
  • Union-Management Relations

The program also mandates that you complete one of the following: 

  • Employment Law 
  • Happiness at Work 
  • International Human Resources Management 
  • Managing Diversity 

You need 120 credit hours to earn your degree. 

Enroll now

4. Indiana University


Want an online HR degree program that’s reputable and an online platform that’s easy to navigate? Consider Indiana University to meet your continuing education needs. 

As a distance learning student, you’ll have access to a variety of resources to help you succeed. You’ll receive personalized support with the admission office, onboarding and financial aid process. Career services, math and writing support, success coaching and library resources are also available virtually. There’s also a contact center open 24/7 if you need assistance. You can connect with a representative via phone, email or chat. 

The core and elective course requirements are as follows: 

  • Compensation Planning and Management (elective) 
  • Employee Benefits (elective)
  • Employment Law (core)
  • Employee Relations (elective) 
  • HR Analytics (elective) 
  • Human Resource Management (core) 
  • Labor Relations (elective) 
  • Occupational Safety and Health (elective) 
  • Staffing Organizations (core)
  • Training Methods (elective)

Alumni work as benefits administrators, compensation analysts, HR assistants, HR generalists, HR managers, HR recruiters and training managers.

Enroll now.

5. University of Maryland 


The University of Maryland’s Global Campus offers an online bachelor’s degree in human resource management. This degree program opens the door to a world of opportunities in various fields. It’s ideal for both aspiring and current HR professionals who want to take their career to the next level. 

The curriculum dives into an array of pertinent topics, including labor relations, the orientation of employees, performance appraisal and reward programs, placement, recruitment, resource planning and selection. You will also discover best practices for building policies and procedures for personnel and the impact human behavior, labor and laws have on company culture. 

While enrolled, you will complete the following core courses: 

  • Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management Practice 
  • Employment Law for Business
  • Employee Training and Development 
  • Finance for the Nonfinancial Manager
  • Global Human Resource Management  
  • Human Resource Management
  • Human Resource Management: Issues and Problems 
  • Information Systems in Organizations 
  • Labor Relations 
  • Management and Organization Theory 
  • Organizational Communication 
  • Organizational Culture and Change
  • The Total Rewards Approach to Compensation Management 

You need a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete the program

Enroll now

6. Hampton University 


Interested in learning more about the underlying theories, principles and foundations of management related to large companies? The Bachelor of Science in systems organization and management (human resources management) from Hampton University Online may be suitable for you. 

Throughout the program, you will acquire the advanced leadership skills needed in the field to solve organizational management challenges. The curriculum also prepares you to pass the human resources management certification exam. Core coursework for human resources management majors entails: 

  • Business Communication 
  • Business Ethics 
  • Business Finance 
  • Business Law 
  • Business Organization and Management
  • Compensation and Benefits Administration 
  • Employment Law or Legal Aspects of Human Resource Management or Employment Law
  • Labor Management Relations
  • Management of International Business
  • Organizational Behavior 
  • Personnel/Human Resources Management
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Training and Development in Organizations 
  • Human Resource Management Seminars (Capstone Course)

Hampton University Online requires 122 hours to earn your degree. Upon completion, you will be positioned to land an entry- or mid-level management position in human resources in a private or public organization. 

Enroll now

7. University of Arkansas 


The University of Arkansas offers an online bachelor’s degree in Human Resource and Workforce Development Education. This 120-credit hour program is a great option if you want to become effective at developing talent within an organization and play a significant role in meeting goals. It’s also a good fit if you’re planning to continue your education in a graduate degree program. 

The program is divided into 3 pillars — career development, organizational development, training and development. Students will complete 4 core courses in each segment, including:

  • Career Development 
  • Communication in Human Resource and Workforce Development 
  • Designing and Developing Human Resource Development Programs 
  • Foundations of Human Resource Development
  • HRD Legal and Ethical Issues 
  • Human Resource Development Program and Product Evaluation 
  • International Human Resource Development and Cultural Differentiation 
  • Managing Human Resource Development Programs
  • Organization Development
  • Professional and Leadership Development 
  • Strategic Human Resource Development 
  • Training and Development 
  • Workplace Diversity and Human Resource Development 
  • Writing for Human Resource and Workforce Development Professionals 
  • Human Resource Development Capstone 

Upon completion, you will know how to implement career planning, counseling, integrated training and organizational skills when you design, manage or evaluate programs for your organization. 

Enroll now

8. Indiana State University 


Earn a Bachelor of Science in human resource development for higher education and industry from Indiana State Online. It caters to human resource professionals working in specialist roles who want to develop specialized expertise. 

Affiliated by the Society of Human Resource Management, the program focuses on business, education, psychology and related behavioral sciences. Required courses for the major include: 

  • Adult Learners in Higher Education and Training 
  • Career Development and Employee Appraisals
  • Characteristics of Human Resource Development 
  • Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Development
  • Continuous Performance Improvement 
  • Developing Occupational and Training Programs
  • Evaluating Learner Performance 
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology 
  • Labor Relations in Human Resource Development 
  • Methods and Strategies for Instructional Program 
  • Occupational Liability and Safety 
  • Organizational Development 
  • Work-Life Integration

You’ll also complete 3 elective courses and a professional internship before you earn a degree. 

Alumni work in career development, organization development, personal management, training and development, union/labor relations and work-life initiative roles. 

Enroll now

9. Huntington University 


Don’t let your demanding schedule get in the way of pursuing your educational goals. Enroll in the online HR degree program from Huntington University and take courses that conform to your demanding work schedule and personal life. 

You’ll hone your leadership skills while working through a curriculum that focuses on business, career development, hiring and training. The rigorous coursework also provides the foundational knowledge needed to excel in a Master of Arts in organizational leadership or Master of Business Administration.

Each course only spans 5 weeks so you can get through the material and prepare yourself for career advancement in record time. You’ll also receive the same degree as your peers who complete their courses on campus. 

Enroll now

10. Davenport University 


Davenport University features an online Bachelor of Business Administration in human resource management. You’ll acquire advanced knowledge on compensation, dispute resolutions, leadership strategies, negotiation, organizational behavior, staffing and training. 

Students complete 120 credit hours and an internship. Core classes from human resource management majors include: 

  • Compensation Administration
  • Employment and Labor Law  
  • Human Resource Management 
  • Innovation and Managing Change
  • International Business 
  • Leadership Discovery 
  • Negotiation/Dispute Resolution 
  • Organizational Behavior 
  • Staffing Organizations 
  • Strategic Human Resources 
  • Training for Organizations 

The in-depth coursework will also prepare you for the Society for Human Resource Management’s certification exam. If you acquire this credential, you will stand out among the competition as you pursue roles in the field.  

Enroll now

Get Started with an Online HR Degree Program Today

Consider our top options for online HR degrees. The programs are from reputable colleges and universities and will help you land a promotion or a better opportunity with another employer. It can also help you set the stage for a successful graduate school experience. 

An online HR degree requires a hefty investment of your time and money. However, the reward of earning an online HR degree greatly outweighs the cost — it’ll pay dividends for years to come. 


Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community

Learn more at SNHU.